Yesterday the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the rule of willfulness and domination of corrupt interests over the interest of the people and the rule of law.
That is the only way to describe the decision to abolish electronic asset declarations. This landmark decision has been made without discussion or proper argumentation and now it threatens the existence of Ukraine as a civilized and democratic state.
According to the reasoning of the Constitutional Court, ensuring the transparency of judges’ assets, monitoring judges’ lifestyle, and other activities of the NAPC to prevent corruption is a threat to the independence of the judiciary and only the judiciary itself can fight corruption when it comes to judges.
The legal category of the independence of the judiciary is not absolute. It envisages only that there should be special legislation that ensures that, in comparison to other civil servants, judges are harder to appoint, dismiss, and prosecute.
Judiciary has its self-governance to address internal issues, additional legal and property guarantees to make it more independent from external pressure. Still, it does not mean the judiciary should be a state within a state or become an opposition to the state.
Judiciary is one of the three branches of power. To prevent each of them from arbitrary actions, the separation of power is maintained. The system of checks and balances makes sure that none of the branches concentrates all the power in its hands or become non-accountable to the people. Thus, none of the branches can be beyond the law.
According to the Constitution, all citizens are equal in the eyes of law. The Constitutional Court by making its decision explicitly defied this fundamental principle. That is why we consider unacceptable and dangerous to the state the fact that constitutional judges kept their positions after making such a decision.
We appeal to all political parties and institutes of democracy to find a way to quickly and efficiently clear the Constitutional Court of the people that defy the rule of law, cover corruption, and try to put themselves beyond the law. At the same time, it is obviously a high time to change the procedure of appointing constitutional judges. The country needs independent judges and not minions of politicians in power. Political actors have to understand that this situation is a matter of national security. A low level of trust in the Constitutional Court and an overtly arbitrary nature of the decision abolishing the asset declarations system can provoke an escalation of violence. To find a solution that will suit the Ukrainian people must become a priority for those in power who want to prevent further increase in social unrest.
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